Friday, October 31, 2008

Shame on you, Larry Johnson

It's no secret Larry Johnson has crippled some fantasy teams this season. Those who burnt a high pick on the Kansas City Chiefs running back have been rewarded with the following rushing totals: 74 yards, 22 yards, 121 yards, 198 yards, 2 yards. They've also been without LJ the past two weeks because of a benching that will continue this Sunday and perhaps for the foreseeable future.

The reason: Johnson has been charged with simple assault stemming from a nightclub incident in which he spit a drink in a woman's face and threatened to kill her boyfriend. This is the third accusation of assault against a woman for Johnson.

As a fantasy owner you could almost put up with the lack of production from LJ - it's what we've come to expect these days, as he's long removed from those back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons in 2004 and 2005. Some of us opted to roll the dice on Johnson this year, figuring he might have recovered from last year's foot injury and have some big games as the main threat in KC's offense. And he's shown that even with all the wear and tear he's accumulated and the absolute ineptitude of the Chiefs' offense, he's still got something left (see the 198-yard game).

But the real inexcusable part is not the disappointing games (although following up 198 yards with 2 the next week is pretty bad) - it's the repeated ugliness off the field that really burns us. This is a guy who's created a mess for himself by continuing to make the same awful mistake of committing acts of violence against women.

To his credit, Johnson issued an apology after the latest incident, saying he is "kind of disgusted" with himself. So are we - and it has very little to do with fantasy football.

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